Responsible Raw Materials and The Geological Society at Glastonbury ‘Science Futures’ 2022

This year we were thrilled to join up with The Geological Society and attend the first ever Science Futures area at Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts. The aim of the area was to bring the ‘science behind the headlines’ to the thousands of festival goers. To highlight the need for earth materials, we collected all the minerals and metals needed to make up some of the critical technological components of a phone, and those that are important for renewable energy technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles.

Over five days, between 2500 – 3000 people visited the Science Futures area, which was entirely powered by renewable energy in the Green Futures Field). Whilst most of our conferences bring together those working within or adjacent to raw materials industries, this event allowed us to talk to a hugely varied demographic (age, residential location, lifestyle, career level, background and sector) and chat about some of the key raw materials that contribute to the technology that powers our daily lives and a green and sustainable future.

We spoke to engineers, architects, mums, teachers, artists, gardeners, drivers, material scientists, software engineers, students, high school kids, toddlers, babies, retired people, chemists, physicists, biologists, social scientists, councillors, CEOs, sustainability consultants, school governors, board members, physiotherapists, doctors, musicians, DJs, actors, property developers. We spoke to people at all stages of their career, from kids to retirees. We spoke to people from all over the UK, and even internationally. There was also a wide variety of backgrounds and societal influences reflected in the conversations we had with people at the stand. From those with multiple degrees to those who had never had any formal education or training.

It was fascinating to hear the insights and thoughts from different groups of people that we very rarely get to engage with. We hope in the future to attend more events like this, and highlight to a broader group of people, the importance of geology, raw materials, sustainability, and a ‘just transition’.

Science holds the solutions to the challenges we face, today and in the future. Researchers from the universities of Exeter, Lancaster, and Kent have teamed up with Wytham Woods (University of Oxford) and the Geological Society to launch Science Futures, a brand-new area in the Green Futures field at Glastonbury Festival, where you can explore how science shapes our daily lives in ways you might never have imagined. For more information, please go to: About > GlastoScienceFutures